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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11 Infographics and Videos for Teaching Economics

One of the current trends in the blog-o-sphere is the use of infographics for sharing general information about a topic (infographics also seem to be an SEO tactic). Over the last couple of years I've come across more than twenty infographics dealing with topics in economics. Today, I've assembled a list of some of the better infographics and videos for teaching topics in economics.

Mint, the free money management service, regularly posts interesting infographics on its blog Mint Life.  One of the better infographics they've featured is What Is a Stock? What Is a Stock? uses clear graphics and plain terms to explain what a stock is, offer a brief history of stock markets, and give a brief explanation of why people buy stocks.


Personal Finance Software - Mint.com
(click here to view in full size)

Curious About George: What is the Lifespan of the Dollar Bill? is an interesting an informative infographic from CreditLoan.com. The infographic offers provides flow charts of the production, distribution, and eventual removal from circulation of currency. Some statistics about the quantity of dollar bills produced every year is also included in the infographic.

Through the Cool Infographics blog I discovered a neat infographic about the ten most expensive cities to live in in 2010. The infographic has three parts; a map, a set of explanations of the costs associated with living in each city, and a comparison chart. The comparison chart at the bottom of the infographic does a nice job of putting cost comparisons into terms that students can relate to. Included in the comparison chart are the costs of fast food meals, the cost of a cup of coffee, and the labor hours required to earn an iPod Nano.

Your Wealth Puzzle offers a neat infographic that could be useful in a consumer education course. The infographic uses a board game format to demonstrate the steps a person needs to take in order to build and maintain a good credit rating.
credit report improve credit score
Credit Report Information Graphic

Visual Economics designs infographics to educate people about various topics in economics. One of their infographics that I like is How Do Americans Save Money? The infographic explains the differences between saving and savings and what disposable income is. The infographic also defines consumer confidence the sentiment index.

The New York Times offers an interactive infographic designed to help people determine when it makes financial sense to buy a home rather than rent a home. Users of the interactive infographic can enter variable data such as home price, interest rates, rent prices, rental rate increases, and housing market changes to determine when it's best to buy a home rather than rent. Users can also account for information like insurance rates, condo fees, and opportunity costs.

On Man vs. Debt I found the Student Loan Scheme infographic about student loans. Produced by CollegeScholarships.org the infographic features a flowchart that explains how student loans can burden people for years. As someone who, after ten years, relatively recently paid off his relatively modest student loans, I can tell you that I am happy my student loans were not any bigger. This infographic presents some good information for students and parents to consider before signing-on for tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Through Michael Smith's Principals Page blog I discovered The Cost of Dropping Out produced by Teacher Certification Map and MAT@USC | Master’s of Arts in Teaching. The infographic shows the costs to individuals and to the community of dropping out of high school. I've dropped the infographic into Zoom.it to make it fit below.


Follow the Money is a video that summarizes the data collected on Where's George? Where's George? is a website that was established for the purpose of tracking the travels of one dollar bills. Watch the video below.


China Widens Its Reach is an interactive infographic produced by Forbes. The purpose of the infographic is to allow visitors to view the investments China has made in other countries. Click on any transaction in the infographic to view the details of each investment. (The image below is a screen capture of the infographic, clicking it will take you to the real infographic on Forbes.com)















The Food Price Rollercoaster is an infographic produced by the World Food Programme to illustrate fluctuations in food prices over the last three and one-half years. The infographic highlights some major world events that happened at the same time as some large food price fluctuations. The infographic also illustrates the disparity between what families in rich countries spend on food and what those in poorer countries spend on food. You can view the infographic here or below.

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